Extracellular vesicles (EVs) contribute to a variety of signaling processes and the overall physiological and pathological states of stem cells and tissues. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have unique characteristics that can mimic embryonic tissue development. There is growing interest in the use of EVs derived from hiPSCs as therapeutics, biomarkers, and drug delivery vehicles. However, little is known about the characteristics of EVs secreted by hiPSCs and paracrine signaling during tissue morphogenesis and lineage specification. Methods: In this study, the physical and biological properties of EVs isolated from hiPSC-derived neural progenitors (ectoderm), hiPSC-derived cardiac cells (mesoderm), and the undifferentiated hiPSCs (healthy iPSK3 and Alzheimer's-associated SY-UBH lines) were analyzed. Results: Nanoparticle tracking analysis and electron microscopy results indicate that hiPSC-derived EVs have an average size of 100-250 nm. Immunoblot analyses confirmed the enrichment of exosomal markers Alix, CD63, TSG101, and Hsc70 in the purified EV preparations. MicroRNAs including miR-133, miR-155, miR-221, and miR-34a were differently expressed in the EVs isolated from distinct hiPSC lineages. Treatment of cortical spheroids with hiPSC-EVs in vitro resulted in enhanced cell proliferation (indicated by BrdU+ cells) and axonal growth (indicated by β-tubulin III staining). Furthermore, hiPSC-derived EVs exhibited neural protective abilities in Aβ42 oligomer-treated cultures, enhancing cell viability and reducing oxidative stress. Our results demonstrate that the paracrine signaling provided by tissue context-dependent EVs derived from hiPSCs elicit distinct responses to impact the physiological state of cortical spheroids. Overall, this study advances our understanding of cell‒cell communication in the stem cell microenvironment and provides possible therapeutic options for treating neural degeneration.
- cardiac mesoderm
- extracellular vesicles
- induced pluripotent stem cells
- neural degeneration
- neural progenitors